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Moroccans repatriated from Algeria put on quarantine, await coronavirus tests

Moroccans repatriated from Algeria have been sent to a hotel in Saidia to observe a compulsory quarantine. They are expected to undergo coronavirus tests to rule out any infection.

A group of Moroccans awaiting repatriation at the Houari Boumedien airport in Algiers

After they landed, earlier on Saturday, in Oujda, a group of Moroccans repatriated from Algeria was driven to Saidia, a beach resort near the northeastern city, for a compulsory quarantine.

Repatriated, early in the morning, the returnees were admitted to five-star hotel Be Live Saidia, one of the repatriated Moroccans told Yabiladi. «We still don't know for how many days we will be staying here, but we hear that it is for nine days», the same source added. 

The returnees will have to remain confined in their rooms and those who are accompanied with their family members are allowed to socialize, read a note distributed among returnees by the hotel and sent to Yabiladi.

A note by a hotel in Saidia that houses Moroccans repatriated from Algeria. / Ph. DRA note by a hotel in Saidia that houses Moroccans repatriated from Algeria. / Ph. DR

Moreover, the quarantining returnees will be served food in their rooms. Meals will be placed in front of their door rooms three times a day, according to a schedule. They are also forbidden from using the other facilities of the hotel, such as the pool, the spa and the gym.

Awaiting coronavirus tests

In addition to having to observe a quarantine, the retrunees are expected to undergo a coronavirus test to rule out any infection. «When we arrived in the hotel a medical team came visit us and told us that we will be tested for the coronavirus», one of the returnees told Yabiladi. «They insisted that we go rest for now in our rooms and said that they would visit us one by one to take samples», the same source added.

For the record, around 300 Moroccans, that had been stranded in Algeria since March, were contacted Friday by the Moroccan embassy in Algiers and informed of their repatriation. The operation, carried out today, included three flights.

«We are happy that we are finally back to our county», the same returnee said. «However, we still think that it should have happened a while ago. We are still disappointed that it took this long, I have not received my salary since March, some of us have lost their parents while stranded and have not been able to say goodbye and others have seen their pregnant women give birth without them being around», the same person regretted.

The repatriation operation comes after Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb announced earlier this week during a meeting at the House of Representatives that Moroccans stranded in Algeria would be next on the list. Moroccans stranded in Algiers and sources within RAM and the Foreign Affairs ministry later confirmed it.

For the record, Morocco has already repatriated a group of Moroccans stranded in Ceuta and Melilla. In total, more than 32,000 Moroccans were stranded abroad due to coronavirus travel bans.

Article modified on : 2020/06/01 12h14

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